Is your firm ready for transformation and do you have the mindset to succeed? Will you and your firm remain future-ready? It is easy to say “Yes,” but remember: No accounting firm or small business is exempt from disruption. Technology is disrupting small businesses, from Uber to professional services firms.
Over the last several years, many of our clients have come to us for help in building on their firm’s success by developing new, higher-value services for their clients. Two primary reasons are driving them:
- Meeting the changing demands of clients by building upon the compliance and transactional services that clients need and the proactive advice they want and value.
- Maintaining relevance in a time of rapid technology evolution that is automating many of the core services.
Would you still say “Yes” based on the following predictions over the next five years?
- Over 50 percent of your revenue will come from services you don’t provide today.
- Your organizational structure becomes diamond-shaped, with fewer people at the bottom due to technology and the gig economy. Leadership becomes more critical at all levels to provide direction, new capabilities and confidence.
- Algorithms become as important, if not more important, than talent. Machine learning and the convergence of multiple technologies will impact the continuum of value. Will you be able to play in a digital and business world impacted by abundance rather than scarcity?
- Your talent pool will be more diversified (degrees other than accounting) and inclusive to become more innovative and meet the wants of clients. Accounting education will need to transform, as well as life-long adult education.
- The business model will change from the effort economy to the value economy, resulting in fixed pricing and higher margins for those who leverage technology and value a unique-ability team (collaboration). Applications built on the blockchain and cryptocurrencies are part of accounting.
These are just a few of the predictions for the profession. Barry Melancon, CEO of the American Institute of CPAs and of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, has stated that you won’t recognize firms in five years. Could one of the reasons for the Chartered Global Management Accountant credential be that CPAs resisted and didn’t see the opportunities, especially on a global basis? Therefore, we have a more future-ready competency model and education program for CGMAs. What must the regulators do in the future to remain relevant?
Great leaders anticipate change and act before it is too late. This requires courage, commitment, capability and confidence. You must start the transformation process before you can prove it will happen, and at the same time continue to benefit from your existing services and cash flow. One way to think of the transformation is “old” versus “new” firms (who you are today versus who you will be in five years).
Much has been written about the firm of the future, but most firm leaders want to know how to avoid a crisis and leverage the opportunities.
This frequently prompts the following questions:
- How do we create a culture of innovation and new service creation?
- How do we evolve the firm’s business model from compliance to consultative-based services?
- How do we develop staff to be more consultative?
TRANSFORMATION IS THE KEY
Transformation means doing something utterly and radically different. Stepping outside of the box isn’t enough. We need to transform the box itself.
Inside-out change, proactive change and opportunity-driven change are where growth comes from, both personal and organizational. This requires intersectional innovation where multiple disciplines and diversity come together to think differently about the problem.
Boomer Consulting’s “Business Transformation Playbook” focuses on both the opportunities and the dangers. It also calls for bringing professionals together to align their vision, develop a plan, train their teams, engage clients, and provide a peer community focused on continuous improvement. This is accomplished with leadership, technology, talent and processes, and results in sustainable growth. Those who choose to stay the same will be challenged to retain and attract quality clients and talent.
The greatest challenge is mindset. Many of the skill sets and toolsets are available today and rapidly advancing. Does your talent development program focus on technical skills, rather than critical thinking and relationship-building? Machine learning and algorithms are automating data entry, coding and even business analytics. Is your mindset one of continuous learning, growth, collaboration, improved processes, convergence of technologies, and developing leaders at all levels?
If the answer is “Yes,” you are ahead of your peers. If not, you should bring the firm leadership team together for some difficult conversations.
Whether your answer is yes or no, you will benefit from the components of the “Business Transformation Playbook.”
Our diverse team has been collaborating over the past year to build the framework and roadmap to assist firms in the transformation:
Gain leadership alignment around a future vision for the firm.
- Develop a plan to execute on that vision.
- Train your team to equip them with the knowledge and skills to transform the mindset, skill set and toolset within the firm.
- Engage with clients, your team and peers to innovate, learn and gain momentum.
- Repeat the process to scale your consulting services, clients and team.
Wayne Gretzky is known for skating to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.
The playbook will guide and assist you in transformation and continuous improvement. Enjoy the journey.